Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) has become the moderate Democrat with much more sense than his colleagues. He repeatedly said he thought impeaching President Donald Trump, for a second time, was "ill-advised," especially since there are not 19 Republicans in the Senate that would move to convict. But now the West Virginia senator has a suggestion: using the 14th Amendment to remove Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Josh Hawley (R-MO) from office.
"Let me read you what the 14th Amendment, Section 3 says. 'No person shall be a senator or representative in Congress who, having previously taken an oath as a member of Congress to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same.' Would you support, senator, the removal of Sen. Hawley and Sen. Cruz, through the 14th Amendment Section 3?" PBS News' Margaret Hoover asked.
'Well, they should look – absolutely. I mean, basically, that should be a consideration. And he should you know, he understands that, Ted’s a very bright individual and I get along fine with Ted. But what he did was totally outside of the realm of our responsibilities," Manchin explained. "Listen to the conversations that people have had, listen to some of the congress people that are still speaking, you know? Listen, around the country, people in different law, in elected positions, these people should be held accountable, because it's sedition."
Manchin went on to explain that the United States was formed because our Founding Fathers were tired of living under the tyrannical rule of King George. They believed in a republic so much that they "gave up everything" in pursuit of this new adventure. In his eyes, Cruz and Hawley's objections to certifying the election results went against the Founding Fathers' intentions and beliefs.
"They didn't put a Constitution together that swore allegiance to the monarchy or to a dictator or tyrant. And the republic, basically, the definition of a republic, it's ruled by the people, not by an individual," he explained. "So [Congress is] going to have to make a decision. Is this the government you want? Do you really owe your allegiance to one person, more so than the freedoms that we have, the democracy and all that?"
"So you think the Senate and the House should look at removing the members, the elected members, who were part of the insurrection?" Hoover asked in response.
The West Virginia senator said Section 3 of the 14th Amendment should be applied but the explanation needs to include the historical context behind the decision.
"They should look at applying Amendment 14, Section 3 for just exactly what you explained and what it says and the reason you might want to give the time period that was put into place and the reason for that after the Civil War," he explained. "And that's exactly where we are. Our country is divided as much now as even then. And it's going to be more divided if we don't pull together. And that's why I say give us some time so that people can see the facts."
.@Sen_JoeManchin: removing Hawley & Cruz by the 14th Amendment/section 3, which disqualifies lawmakers who have engaged in insurrection, should be considered.— Firing Line with Margaret Hoover (@FiringLineShow) January 13, 2021
"Ted’s a very bright individual," he says, "but what he did was totally outside of the realm of our responsibilities." pic.twitter.com/KWQ5asFi8q